Could El Niño turn into a dud for California?

Could El Niño turn into a dud for California?

Sacramento is in the peak of its rainy season, but there is no substantial rain in the forecast. The Sierra snowpack has fallen below normal levels for this time of year. The state’s three largest reservoirs remain far below capacity. Whither El Niño?
A winter season that began with considerable promise toward breaking the drought has given way to a staggeringly dry February.

Global warming and its impact on wine

In 1989 Richard Smart‘s suggestion that Bordeaux might one day be better suited to Grenache than Cabernet was met with derision. Now, as the dangers of global warming are brought into stark relief, he considers the viticultural changes being produced today.
So, how will we adapt? What will we change – the region or the variety?

Lowering the bar

The increasing interest in a healthier lifestyle, led by various governments, has resulted in growth of lower-alcohol, zero-alcohol and lower-calorie wines. Wine Intelligence, the specialist market survey organisation, has just published its latest report, Lower Alcohol Wines – a Multi-Market Perspective. Efforts in New Zealand – investing in the industry’s largest research and development project to explore better ways of producing high-quality, low-alcohol, low-calorie wines – did not go unnoticed.

Tassie vineyards to reap reward of dry season

THE hot, dry hot summer has been brutal for many Tasmanian farmers but a blessing for those growing grapes with some yields up 50 per cent this year. The state’s 2015 vintage was moderate, yielding the equivalent of about 620,000 cases realising a farmgate value of more than $65 million. However, Paul Williams from Wobbly Boot vineyard in the Coal River Valley told the Mercury that this season his grapes were in weighty bunches with uniform growth and he expected to yield 50 per cent more than last year.

Southern Highlands’ oldest winery sells for $2m

Winemaker Kim Moginie, brother of Midnight Oil guitarist Jim Moginie, and his wife Frances have sold their Joadja Vineyard and Winery near Berrima, the oldest in the NSW Southern Highlands, for just under $2 million.
The 8.5-hectare rustic vineyard and winery on the corner of Greenhills and Joadja Roads, which also hosts events like Music in the Vines and regularly features performances by Jim Moginie, was established more than 30 years ago.

Victorian council hopes to lure foreign investment

THE SWAN HILL COUNCIL is holding farm visits for investors on the Federal Government’s Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program. The council’s Muriel Scholz said she understood the concerns some people had around foreign investment in Australian agriculture.
But she said the council’s visits were an attempt to expand markets for local produce.
“We encourage people to come in and buy our products,” she said.
“If they are interested in looking at property that’s something we can facilitate as well.”

Paul Evans resigns from Winemakers’ Federation

Paul Evans announced his resignation from the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia (WFA) last week, stepping down from the position of chief executive officer which he held for almost three years. Tony D’Aloisio, WFA president, said under Evans’ control the organisation has undertaken a significant body of work to develop and implemented a recovery plan to lift profitability for wine businesses.

Mornington Peninsula vintage to be ‘extra special’

PICKING is underway at vineyards across the peninsula with winemakers tipping “something extra special” for the 2016 vintage. David Lloyd, the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association president, said the harvest began seven to 10 days early across southeast Australia. He said optimum conditions across the summer had produced a good crop with potential to make exceptional wine.

How Millennials (Almost) Killed the Wine Cork

No one is completely sure who first came up with the idea for cork wine stoppers, though legend holds that it was the 17th-century monk Dom Pérignon. Perhaps he does deserve the credit; perhaps some other cellar master was the first to abandon convention and seal his glass wine bottles with cork stoppers over wooden plugs. Regardless of who created the wine cork, the invention would go on to become wildly successful: For the past 400 years, cork has been the preferred material for wine closures.

Alcohol available per person lowest in 18 years

The total volume of pure alcohol available for consumption, expressed in terms of the number of standard drinks per person, fell 4.1 percent in 2015, to the lowest level in the last 18 years, Statistics New Zealand said today. “New Zealanders aged 18 and over are now drinking on average the equivalent of two standard drinks per person per day, down from 2.1 in 2014,” international statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. “This is the equivalent of 500ml of 5 percent alcohol beer, or two glasses of wine per person per day.”

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